Office desk featuring a laptop with a blank screen

With working from home here to stay, and everyone scrambling to find work, it’s likely that you will encounter some or all of your job interviews over Zoom or other video sites in the near future. They may feel different, but the end result of a job is still up for grabs and you want to make the most of them. Here’s how:

1. Your set-up

If possible, you should do your interview at a desk rather than a sofa, using a tablet or computer. This will mean that you look like you are sitting up straight and are focused at the task in hand. You should also make sure that your lighting is good, along with the angle of the camera, so that the interviewer can see you properly. If you are in a room with a lot of clutter which might be a distraction, try using one of the featured backgrounds.

2. Test your equipment

Before the big day make sure that your audio works and that you know how to log on and access the interview. 

3. Your household

Make sure that the others in your house know that you are having an interview at that time so you can’t be disturbed. You could write a sign on your door so no one accidentally comes in and ask flatmates not to play loud music. If you have pets keep them out the way, and if you have children do the same as well. It would be even better if you can get them out the house!

4. Notes 

Because you are not in an in-person interview you can have as many notes and helpful guidelines as possible. This should include a printout of the CV and cover letter or application form you sent them so you know what they are referring to. However it can also include examples you want to use and you can even pop some sticky notes on your computer so you can remember your best lines.

5. Increase your energy

Less enthusiasm and energy comes across in a virtual situation, and you need to up the ante to make sure that the interviewer can see that you are interested in the job. Additionally, in a virtual interview your response to understanding and articulating is also slight lost so remember to respond verbally as well as physically, for example nodding your head and saying yes so that you know the interviewer has clocked what you are saying. 

6. Practice

If you have a fellow flatmate or family member, practice a virtual interview with them. Ask them for pointers, for example whether you are looking in the right place, whether your expressions come across enough, whether they understand you and whether your ‘listening face’ is correct.

7. Interview rules still apply

Remember that this is still an interview with a potential job offer at the end. You need to be dressed appropriately, you need to smile and be polite and you need to prepare for the interview questions. Be early, although you only need two or three minutes rather than the usual ten.